Archives for March 2018

A Month Without A Fatal Crash In Montana

For thirty days, no one has been killed in a car crash in Montana. The state Highway Patrol says that’s the longest stretch without a fatal crash in at least ten years. The most recent fatal crash happened February 26th near Kalispell. Highway Patrol records going back to 1990 show no calendar month without a fatal crash. The Montana Department of Transportation says the 30-day period without a fatal crash is “a good start”.

2017 Fire Impacted Tourism

All the fires in 2017 may have cost Montana more than 240 million dollars in tourist spending. That’s the word from a study by the University of Montana. More than a million acres burned in Montana last summer, affecting Seeley Lake, Glacier National Park, Lincoln and Lolo, among others.

Downtown Helena could get an economic boost

Downtown Helena could get an economic boost. During a public meeting Tuesday night the city commission said they are considering an Urban Renewal District, or URD, as part of a new reinvestment plan to bolster economic development and address the downtown area’s future growth. Plans for a new URD are still early and the city has not identified specific projects or blights to be addressed, according to a city of Helena news release. The city will be taking comments online until April 17 about the URD and will further address the matter in the city commission meeting on May 7.

A Havre man has pleaded guilty to five criminal child sexual abuse charges

A Havre man has pleaded guilty to five criminal child sexual abuse charges. Isaac Wardell is accused of showing the uderage girl a pornographic video and engaging in sexual behavior with her several months ago, court documents allege that. The child’s mother confronted Wardell last month and he admitted to touching the girl.

Helena Not On List Of Safest Cities In Montana

A new report lists the ten safest cities in Montana, and Helena did not make the list. Safewise evaluated cities based on the number of reported violent crimes. Those include murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. The safest city in Montana, according to the report, is Dillon in Beaverhead County, followed by Columbia Falls near Kalispell, and Laurel near Billings. Among the seven largest cities in Montana, only Great Falls made the list, coming in at number 9.

Gun safety exchange

The National Center for Unwanted Firearms is helping keep homes safe. People can submit a gun and choose to have it sold or destroyed, or placed in a museum if the gun has historical value. Part of the centers mission is to promote gun safety at home, according to their website.

Suspect in double murder at Helena Valley home faces judge

The third suspect arrested in connection with last week’s double murder at a home in the Helena Valley made his first appearance in court Monday. A judge set bond at $500,000 for John Wieneke, 22, of Helena, for his role in the deaths of David and Charla Taylor.
He was taken into custody Friday afternoon. The murdered couple’s son Kaleb David Taylor, 21, and Helena resident Kyle Alexander Hamm, 21, have also been arrested in connection with the homicide.


The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday that they had arrested another person of interest in the case Sunday night, but said he has not been named a suspect in the murders.

Officials Consider Downtown Urban Renewal District

Helena officials are looking at creating an urban renewal district to encourage new economic activity downtown. Those districts let cities invest property tax money into infrastructure and other improvements in a designated area.

Woman Drives Car Through Business Storefront

Billings police say a drunk woman drove her car through the storefront of a business to teach it a lesson for being closed . Lisa Walter also broke more windows at Grow World with a sledgehammer, according to police. She reportedly told police she became upset , because she was out of her medical marijuana, and the store wasn’t open to sell it to her.

Man Threatens Walmart Employee

A Helena man is in trouble in Bozeman where he allegedly tried to steal several television sets from Walmart and threatened to kill an employee with a knife. John Warner left the store, but police found him at a gas station nearby. Security official shows Warner inside the store using a knife to try and remove security devices from several tv sets. His bail is set at half a million dollars.